Despite literacy concerns, 79 schools in Bauchi have one teacher each

DESPITE having the highest number of out-of-school children in Nigeria, 79 schools in Misau Local Government Area (LGA), Bauchi, state have only one teacher teaching all subjects.

The Director of School Services of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) in Bauchi Korijo Usman, disclosed this on Sunday, August 6, during a dialogue with journalists.

“In Misau, there are 79 schools that have only one teacher each, while there are zero schools with no teacher. All the schools have teachers except that they are not adequate.

“Misau is even better compared to others. Go to some other schools and see the situation there. So, what we do is to find out where they are congested, and we ask them to redeploy and post them to other places. And that is what we told them from SUBEB that if they see a school with many teachers, they should move to two or three other schools depending on the number there,” Usman.

He further noted that there was an average of 72 students per class, which is higher than the 1:35 teacher-student ratio recommended by the Nigerian government.

In 2022, data from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) stated that Nigeria has 20.2 million out-of-school children.

Bauchi had the highest ranking, with over 1.2 million children out of school, a large percentage of the total figure nationwide.

Lack of teachers worsens absenteeism of students

The ICIR reported in May 2023 that teachers and heads of schools were taking advantage of the inadequacy of teachers to operate an epileptic education system.

Many elementary schools in Bauchi are run by volunteer teachers, and many pupils avoid classes, citing the lack of children as a reason.

    Some schools, including the Dagaro Primary/Upper Basic School, remain closed whenever the head teacher is absent,

    Parents who spoke with The ICIR said they have stopped sending their children and wards to school, as there were hardly any teachers to attend to them.

    “I have since stopped sending my four grandchildren to school because all they do is play. The boys will play football, and the girls will play ‘gada.

    “If you ask them what they learnt, they will tell you nothing because the teachers did not come or did not enter the classes to teach. Many have stopped coming and opted for Almajiri education. They are cheating our younger ones by not coming and doing their duties,” said Muhammadu Inuwa, a resident of Katagum LGA, Bauchi.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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